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, came from borrowing, the deficit. the sum total of all of these annual deficits, plus the interest is national debt. today the national debt extends at $16.4 trillion. the treasury is empowered to borrow money to make up for that shortfall. but only up to a certain amount. that's the debt ceiling. keep it in mind, the treasury does not make decisions about how the money is spent. they're simply empowered in this case to borrow money and write the checks to pay the bills incurred by your democratically elected congress. today the debt ceiling is $16.3 trillion which is less than our debt. the treasury can use extraordinary measures to raise an extra $200 billion. those extra funds will only last until about mid february or early march according to the bipartisan policy center. good luck trying to explain this to conservative talk radio show host, rush limbaugh. >> i think it's a debt limit as your monthly credit card limit. you can't go over it on your credit card. and the united states government can't spend more than what its credit limit is or its debt limit. now ali velshi at cn
they have to really assert a move toward deficit reduction? >> you know, in my mind they actually missed the best chance they had, which was the expiration of the bush tax cuts, which was really the best chance for both sides. if there was ever a point where a grand bargain was possible, it would have been i think the republicans accepting rolling back more of that tax cut than we did in return for acquiring democrats to deal with the very real long-term challenge of entitlements. we did not take advantage of that. we had a minimalist deal that confirms 82% of bush tax cuts, possibly the worst possible outcome and no spending cuts, probably the worst possible outcome in the long term from a deficit perspective. now i think the history is this is not a powerful mechanism. in the end it's a doomsday device you cannot use. you go back to the midninety with bill clinton and the republican congress, look at 2011. i think in the end they will decide they cannot use this measure and they seem to be heading that way this week in their house republican retreat. >> ian bremer is with us. he's the
Search Results 0 to 1 of about 2